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Woven Blessings
Fall 2006

by Sheri L. VanDuyn

"All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small.
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all!"

I have always loved singing this song and really do appreciate God’s artistry in nature, but there are some of His small creatures that I am having a difficult time with.

My first episode started about 2 years ago in our own front yard. Now trust me when I say that I love our house which is located on almost an acre lot. Our back yard is completely wooded; with 10 homes in a row that all really take pride of their yard (except for 1) as we do. Well, lumps and bumps started appearing in our front yard. We knew it had to be a mole. We set a trap and it appeared to be gone only to travel to our next door neighbor’s yard. We must have played tag with this small underground creature for 2 summers. The results were: the mole did not return for the Summer of 2006, but neither did our grass-our lawn was the worst since 1981 when we moved in! My husband seeded the lawn twice and now our lawn is really looking good again.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love seeing the deer stroll out of our backwoods to cross the street to go down to the Lake for a drink. But this year a duck decided to make her nest in of all places, my garden! So being very considerate. I did not weed or plant anything new in the garden. Then I noticed the duck was gone and I could see her eggs. It was apparent after several days that this mother had abandoned her nest. I counted and there were 7 large eggs. I was really surprised that a raccoon had not discovered the eggs. So I was left to the task of emptying the nest and finally planting my garden.

As I walked through our yard in July, I kept stepping into little holes everywhere and discovered that the culprits were chipmunks. I had seen a couple, so decided to buy a trap. Once baited with peanut butter, we caught 3 in 3 days. Our son, Brian, 19, did not want any harm to come to them, so everyday he loaded up the trap in his car and took them to work letting them go in the woods there. But the captures did not stop; 13 chipmunks were trapped within 3 weeks and sometimes without any bait! No wonder there were holes dug all over our yard.

Well I could live with this outside nuisance, and was happier once we were down by dozen chipmunks. But the real test started mid-July when I was cleaning my basket room in our basement. I was hanging a few more baskets from the ceiling when to my surprise, I looked at my display racks and saw a mouse perched on the rim of one of my nice egg baskets! I was startled, but did not scream and just watched him scurry under and over making his way across my baskets. He stopped almost to scold me for being there! Well, I was not pleased about this "mouse in the house" and immediately the trap was set. But, the chipmunk trap would not work here as a mouse is too light. So other traps were purchased at the local family owned hardware store where the cashier stated: "All I am selling this week is mouse traps and this item usually goes fast at the end of September and not now."

So the trap was baited with cheese and set and the next morning, I had the mouse who had sassed me. Well, over the next 2 weeks, I had caught 6 more mice-YUK! I have never had a mouse in the house before. A few things can be explained for the inhabitations-the number 1 reason is the heat. With temperatures reaching mid 90, they were seeking a place that was cool and it happened to be my basement. I also discovered as I while cleaning that these mice had a party on a sunflower basket that I had created using an actual large, dried sunflower. Lucky for me, I had placed this in a large low container, so all the shells and mess were caught, but since they totally destroyed this unique shaped natural basket, it had to be pitched.

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Well as the temperatures dropped so did my unwanted house guests; they are totally gone! I hope to never have them return again. I just really feel that every creature has its place. I will just keep dealing with the critters and hope they stay in their own habitat so I can enjoy and live in mine!

"All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small.
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all!"

"There is a time for everything,
And a season for every activity under heaven..."

~Ecclesiastes 3:1

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